There will be little debate that the 2019 Premier Hockey League has produced some of the most outstanding attacking hockey, which was once again the theme of the semi-finals.
Madikwe Rangers (4) 3-3 (3) Orange River Rafters
For the second year in a row it was heart break for the Orange River Rafters at the Semi-Final stage against the Madikwe Rangers on a penalty shootout. For the Rangers it gives them the opportunity to finally take the final hurdle having twice failed at the final stage.
Nicky Veto won an early penalty corner for the Rangers that was punished by Lisa Deetlefs with a trademark slap. The impressive Donna Small then helped matters level when her superb run was slotted home by Zimkitha Weston. The scored stayed that way for half an hour before one of the finest all-time PHL goals was scored by Kristen Paton. She took on five players as she made her way into the D and then slid the ball past Cheree Greyvenstein superbly.
The Rafters levelled again with a superb deflection by Dirkie Chamberlain on the back of a very well worked short corner. That joy was short lived as Toni Marks won the Rangers a short corner which Ashleigh Datnow deflected a Deetlefs slap home. There was still time for Ongi Mali to play party pooper as she finished off a goal mouth scramble and sent the match to a shootout.
The shootouts went to sudden death but after Paton and Chamberlain had scored Casey-Jean Botha had her shot saved and Deetlefs confirmed a third final for the Rangers, the first team to achieve this.
Wineland Wings 4-3 Namaqualand Daisies
The tempo did not die down in the second game as the Wineland Wings and Namaqualand Daisies played out a superb semi-final with the victor qualifying for their first ever final. The Daisies surprisingly held an early lead when quick play by Bianca Wood secured the ball for Thati Segoale who finished expertly. The crowd at Randburg had to wait until the third quarter for the Wings to answer the call and they did it through their all-time leading goalscorer Tarryn Glasyb firing home a penalty corner.
The Wings then took the lead through tournament top scorer Sylvia van Jaarsveledt who finished a super opportunistic goal. It all kicked off in the fourth quarter though as Ashleigh Thomas pounced to level the score at 2-2 before Bianca Wood showed her ability under pressure to turn the game on its head and get the Daisies fans dreaming.
Those dreams will become Jade Mayne nightmares for the Daisies because the Wings superstar showed extreme poise and control at the top of the D and fired one in low and hard to level the game before van Jaarsveldt popped up with another trademark goal to settle it once and for all for the Wings.
Drakensberg Dragons 3-1 Maropeng Cavemen
In a repeat of the 2017 final and the 2018 semi-final the most played fixture in PHL history saw the Dragons emerge victorious over the Cavemen to become the first team in PHL history to secure three consecutive final appearances.
They took the lead when big game goal scorer Bili Ntuli caught Rassie Pieterse off guard and slid the ball under him in the 12th minute. The Cavemen would raise the game themselves looking to become the first team to win the trophy three times. They also had Pieterse to thank after he twice denied Ross Hetem in unbeleivable fashion.
Dayaan Cassiem was taken out in a heavy challenge, but the Cavemen played the ball quickly. Callum Buchanan found himself open on the top of the d and fired it home expertly. But the Dragons were back ahead shortly after when Bili Ntuli produced a sensational run and ball for Ross Hetem to finish. The Dragons should have had more but struck the upright twice before a superb finish by Amkelwe Letuka made it 3-1 and settled the game.
Mapungubwe Mambas (3) 1-1 (0) Garden Route Gazelles
It was a tight affair in the second match as Lungile Tsolekile’s Mambas took on good friend Ashlin Freddy’s Gazelles. The Mambas were the favourites having topped the group stage and showed that favouritism in the 6th minute through Luthando Jonas who found a pin point rocket into the bottom left corner.
Both sides had chances to add to the scoring, but Paton and Sibbald from the Gazelles and Dollman from the Mambas were all dented spectacularly. But finally, with four minutes left on the clock the Gazelles did equalize. A fumbled stop from a PC was worked across to Keenan Horne who finished sensationally. 1-1 the final score. The day had stated with a shootout and was going to do end the same way.
The earlier shootout needed extra rounds but this one needed only three. Ryan Mann, Ryan Julius and Mustaphaa Cassiem all netted theirs while no one breached the goal of Goals of Rob McKinley for the Mambas.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 03 August 2019
10:00 – Women’s Bronze – Orange River Rafters vs. Namaqualand Daisies
12:00 – Men’s Bronze – Maropeng Cavemen vs. Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – Women’s Final – Madikwe Rangers vs. Wineland Wings
16:00 – Men’s Final – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Mapungubwe Mambas
Images - Marcel Sigg
After 30 matches in the preliminary stages, the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League has reached its semi-final stages. At the end of Sunday’s action, we said goodbye to four of the teams and a total of 8 remain across the Men’s and Women’s competition. On Sunday afternoon just two of these sides will be left to celebrate the title as champions of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League
There will be a new champion in the women’s tournament as defending champions the Blyde River Bunters failed to make the knock out stages for the first time in PHL history. Looking to profit from their absence is the table topping Wineland Wings. The team, coached by Ryan Pillay, won four out of five games on their way to cementing top spot. They will be looking to the all-time PHL top goal scorer Sylvia van Jaarsveldt to keep banging in the goals while the form of Jessica Lardant and Jade Mayne has been pivotal to their run to the top. The Wings will be taking on the Namaqualand Daisies who produced a wonderful display to secure a semi-final spot in the last group game of the tournament.
The Daisies are the South African U21 side and will be incredibly happy with their performances to be in the final four. The will also be buoyed by the fact that they are the undefeated in this year’s tournament against all the final four. Mishka Ellis has been a revelation in goal while Thati Segoale, Jean-Leigh du Toit and Lezaan Jansen van Vuuren have all enhanced their reputations. Bianca Wood has been the undoubted star though, the south African capped striker netting the goal of the weekend with pure individual brilliance on Saturday. Their group encounter ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Madikwe Rangers have twice made the final, but they will be looking to go a step further this year. Kristen Paton has been a driving force of the team consistently creating opportunities for the forward players to take advantage of. Lisa Deetlefs has continued to prove dangerous at penalty corners while Nomnikelo Veto has shown her danger in front of goal. The Rangers will take on the Orange River Rafters, the only team in the final four to have lifted the trophy before having won the title in 2017. Sulette Damons has scored the goals while the creativity has come from Charne Maddocks, Ongi Mali, Donna Small and Dirkie Chamberlain, playing in a deeper role than normal. In the group stage the Rafters won 2-1.
The Men’s Tournament brings the two most successful franchises along with the 2019 juggernaut that is the Mapungubwe Mambas. The Mambas became only the second team in history to win every group game following the Cavemen in 2017 and will hope to emulate that side in picking up the crown.
The front trio of Tevin Kok, Wade Dollman and Mustapha Cassiem has produced some breathtaking hockey and some sensational goals. Owen Mvimbi has shown his astute leadership skills as the captain in a team that has an arsenal that includes Ryan Julius, Matt Brown, Ross Goncalves and Tommy Hammond. Based on what we have seen in PHL 2019 its going to take an incredible effort for someone to stop them.
That challenge will go to the Garden Route Gazelles in the semi-final. The Gazelles were the last team to make the semi-finals and join the Mambas as two teams who have never made a final. Having lost 3-2 in the group stages, the Gazelles coach Ashlin Freddy will be up with a massive task to get one over his good friend Lungile Tsolekile. If the Gazelles are to knock out the Mambas, they will need Connor Beauchamp to be at his best at penalty corner time, while in Taine Paton and Dan Sibbald they have arguably two of South Africa’s most explosive midfielders. The experience of Keenan Horne, Jonty Robinson and Lance Louw may be pivotal in deciding this match.
The other semi-final will feature the two teams to have won the Premier Hockey League. The defending champions Drakensberg Dragons will be hoping to up the ante this weekend. They feature a host of explosive strikers in Richard Pautz, Bili Ntuli, Miguel da Graca and Ignatius Malgraff and have one of SA Hockey’s favourite players, Jethro Eustice, as their skipper. The match will also feature a showdown between the two South African Hockey goalkeepers from the World Cup with Gowan Jones (Dragons) taking on Rassie Pieterse (Cavemen).
The Cavemen, who won the first two tournaments, are a very different team from the past but they still have the wily Mark Sanders in charge. Centre to their prospects will be the combinations between Cameron Mackay, Brynn Cleak and Dayaan Cassiem who troubled the Dragons in their previous meeting, while Keegan Hezlett is in some fine goal scoring form. They produced a classic 3-2 group stage game and have previously met in the final and the semi-final. It is the most played fixture in PHL history, and a classic awaits!
CTM Premier Hockey League – 02 August 2019
12:00 – (W-SF1) – Madikwe Rangers vs. Orange River Rafters
14:00 – (M-SF1) – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Maropeng Cavemen
16:00 – (W-SF2) – Wineland Wings vs. Namaqualand Daisies
18:00 – (M-SF2) – Mapungubwe Mambas vs. Garden Route Gazelles
CTM Premier Hockey League – 03 August 2019
10:00 – Women’s Bronze Medal Match
12:00 – Men’s Bronze Medal Match
14:00 – Women’s Final
16:00 – Men’s Final
Original images- Marcel Sigg
Entering the Men’s final group stages, three of the four semi-final spots had already been decided. The table topping Mapungubwe Mambas were to be joined by the two previous victors the Maropeng Cavemen and the Drakensberg Dragons. The final spot would be decided in a virtual quarter final between the Addo Elephants and the Garden Route Gazelles.
The Garden Route Gazelles come out firing with an early first quarter goal. Gareth Heyns standing on post was unable to deny Connor Beauchamp’s low drag flick and it was 1-0. The Elephants showed their own fighting spirit and brought matters level through skipper Reza Rosenberg. The South African dual indoor and outdoor national finished with a very reactive strike to restore parity.
But Ashlin Freddy’s side re-established the lead when Matthew Martins made a good penalty corner save but Keenan Horne was on hand to slap in the rebound. It was very soon 3-1 as Taine Paton showed superb aerial skills before a blistering strike gave Martins no chance. If Paton’s goal was good, then Reece Arendse’s finish was great. Picking up the ball in the D, Arendse pushed it across to create the space and fired it home.
The Elephants brought themselves back into the game with a penalty corner strike by Gareth Heyns before the superb youngster Marvin Simons rounded Martins and made it 5-2 which would ultimately be the final score and a confirmed place in the semi-final for the Garden Route Gazelles, while the Elephants would miss the final four for the first time in PHL history.
The others men’s game today was to decide the top team in the group stages and the Mapungubwe Mambas continued their fine form to run home with a 4-1 win over the Drakensberg Dragons. Neil Raath opened the scoring with a low drive into the bottom corner and Dylan Swanepoel levelled with a great drag flick for the Dragons.
With 8 minutes left the Mambas broke the deadlock with some quick passing and quick thinking for Mustapha Cassiem to make it 2-1. They quickly made it 3-1 when a Ryan Julius was saved but Ross Goncalves reacted quickly to fire home. There was still time for a bonus point as the Mambas finished the group stages with a perfect record. Calab Syce finished from an Owen Mvimbi cross into an empty net. 4-1 the final score.
In the Women’s tournament only the Wineland Wings were assured of the semi-final spot but were quickly joined there by the Orange River Rafters when the Blyde River Bunters beat the St. Lucia Lakers. The 2-1 win inspired by Celia Evans again and gave themselves a hold of fourth spot for the time being.
Former Wing’s player Stephanie Baxter had opened the scoring for the Lakers to put the Bunters on the verge of elimination but Celia Evans first and later Miecke Flemming turned the game on its head and confirmed a 2-1 win that eliminated the Lakers.
The Madikwe Rangers were then able to add their name to the semi-final list as Kristen Paton inspired the team to a victory to deny the Wineland Wings a perfect group stage. The seven-goal thriller was arguably the game of the weekend as both teams held the lead at different points and a last-minute winner decided the game.
The Rangers opened the scoring with a superb top right corner drag flick by Antoinette Louw, but early in the second quarter Jade Mayne forced the equaliser through a superb run. Mayne’s goal was the 200th in the CTM Premier Hockey League history. The Wings then completed an early comeback as Sylvia van Jaarsveldt celebrated her recall to the national team by catching Lisa Deetlefs in possession and finishing past Modipane.
Lisa quickly atoned for that error though as she went up the other end and finished off a penalty corner won by Toni Marks with a trademark slap. Deetlefs then finished her second with a slap into the opposite corner to make it 3-2 to the Rangers. The Wings then had a sensational save by Zimi Shange to thank for keeping it to one goal and rewarded her with a levelling goal through Stephanie Botha, the 50th women’s goal in this year’s PHL.
Zimi Shange then made another sensational save to keep the scores level but she could not deny Tamlyn Kock after more Paton good work and the Rangers had sealed their spot in the final four.
The last place in next weekends finals was decided in the final game of the group stage. After going into the break at 0-0 the Namaqualand Daisies were in dreamland as they took a 1-0 lead against the Rafters through an Ashleigh Thomas penalty corner.
It got even better for the Daisies when they took a 2-0 lead through Jean-Leigh du Toit with a bullet strike but the gave was given a breath of life when Charne Maddocks finished a goal mouth scramble with just 3 minutes remaining. The Rafters poured forward looking for an equaliser and pulled Cheree Greyvenstein off, but the gamble backfired as they conceded a last-minute penalty corner and Jean-Leigh du Toit made it 3-1 expertly. The Daisies had made the semi-finals and confirmed that for the first time in four seasons the Blyde River Bunters would not medal!
CTM Premier Hockey League – 28 July Results
08:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters 2-1 St. Lucia Lakers
10:00 – (W) – Madikwe Rangers 4-3 Wineland Wings
12:00 – (M) – Addo Elephants 2-5 Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (M) – Mapungubwe Mambas 4-1 Drakensberg Dragons
16:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters 1-3 Namaqualand Daisies
CTM Semi-Final Fixtures
M – Mapungubwe Mambas vs. Garden Route Gazelles
M – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Maropeng Cavemen
W – Wineland Wings vs. Namaqualand Daisies
W – Orange River Rafters vs. Madikwe Rangers
Images - Marcel Sigg
The Blyde River Bunters faced the gauntlet this morning and emerged the other side with their title defence still alive. It took only seconds to get the first goal of the tournament for the Bunters as the Namaqualand Daisies afforded Celia Evans too much space. The 2016 SA Hockey Player of the Year surged into the D and fired in a shot that was deflected home off a Daisies defender stick. It got better for the Bunters when a penalty corner variation landed at the stick of Izelle Verster who made no mistake.
It looked like a formality for the Bunters to record their first win but then began the Bianca Wood show. The youngster who made her national debut earlier this year against Namibia produced a sensational solo run and finish to pull one goal back for the Bunters. The goal brought back memories of the goal of the tournament by Simone Gouws in the first PHL. Wood then made it 2-2 when she was on the end of superb work by Thati Segoale to glance the ball home past Phumelela Mbande.
With the game heading into a shootout, Celia Evans grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and drove into the D before firing in a shot from an acute angle with just 16 seconds left on the clock. The Bunters tournament is still alive.
The Mapungubwe Mambas themselves made it four out of four with their own 3-2 victory over the Garden Route Gazelles. The Wade Dollman and Mustapha Cassiem show was once again highlighted in the opening goal as a blistering counter attack led the two strikers to combine before Cassiem was left one-on-one with Siya Nolutshungu and rattled the backboard with a fine strike. An error from Gazelles Lance Louw then gave Mambas captain Owen Mvimbi the chance to double the lead which he did with an emphatic shot into the bottom corner.
The best of their bunch was yet to come, and we had to wait until the second half before the other half of the Mambas bash brothers, Dollman got on the scoresheet. Picking up the ball just outside the 25, the striker arched a perfect run into the D before netting into the top right corner. It was a sensational finish.
Dan Sibbald had other ideas and drove his team back into the game. First, he effected a turnover against Jacky Mohlaba before firing the ball across the goal. Brandon James got the touch on the line to claim the goal, but Sibbald undoubtedly the architect. He was the architect of the second as a perfect cross allowed young sensation Marvin Simons to top into an empty net.
But the Mambas would hang on and secure their top spot and a fourth consecutive victory in the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League.
The St. Lucia Lakers were looking to secure their own semi-final spot when they took on the Madikwe Rangers, but it was Sandile Bosman’s team that were smiling at the end of the four quarters. The Rangers knew a defeat would leave their tournament hopes in tatters and spurred on by that, and her national squad selection, Nomnikelo “Nicky” Veto produced a player of the match performance in guiding the Rangers home. She netted twice once through a superb solo strike and a second through a deft touch after a great Lisa Deetlefs pass.
The Lakers though fought back and got on the scoresheet when Megan Anderson bundled home at a penalty corner to give the game life, but the Rangers were good value for their lead and let the clock run down and secured a much-needed win.
The Rangers will play the Wings tomorrow, while the Lakers take on the Bunters. Both aware that a slip up could allow the Daisies or Bunters to usurp them into the semi-finals.
The inaugural CTM Premier Hockey League final was between the Addo Elephants and the Maropeng Cavemen and the old adversaries faced off again in the group stages. Both teams still feature their original PHL Coaches and have produced some classics along the way. Today it was the Elephants who got the last laugh as they emerged victorious in a 6-3 goal fest.
The Elephants led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter with Julian Hykes netting a brace after former Cavemen striker Cerezo Comerasamy opened the scoring with an effortless flick into the side net. Hykes two goals were typical Julian goals fired home with venom. Craig Wiid had pulled one back for the Cavemen with his third pc goal of the season, but they showed superb fight in pulling it back to 3-3. Keegan Hezlett scored a thunderbolt reverse stick straight through Martins before Courtney Halle added to his goal against the Dragons. As thoughts would have gone towards the win for Mark Sanders side, they were sucker punched by a quick double from Sinoxolo Mbekeni, who scored after superb work by Chad Futcher, and Comersamy with his second, a good touch of fortune in that one.
As the game headed towards its conclusion, Hykes popped up with his 3rd of the game, 4th of the year and 12th all time PHL goal giving former national and provincial team mate Rassie Pieterse no chance with a brilliant drive into the bottom corner. That goal wrapped up the victory but also the bonus point that puts the Addo Elephants on the brink of the semi-finals.
It was one-way traffic in the days final game as the Drakensberg Dragon routed the Golden Gate Gladiators 6-0. The results sent the Gladiators home without a win and meant it would be a straight fight between the Addo Elephants and Garden Route Gazelles for a semi-final spot.
Ryan Crowe struck early for the Dragons and the result was never in doubt from that moment on. They methodically added goals throughout the game with Dylan Swanepoel making it two before Ignatius Malgraff, the all-time leading goal scorer of the Premier Hockey League produced a moment of sublime individual skill to leave all mesmerised in making it 3-0.
In the second half Richard Pautz reacted first to make it 4-0 after good Bili Ntuli work before Ross Hetem benefitted from a Pautz pass and his own sublime finish. There was still time left for the Dragons to get their 6th and final goal through Ignatius Malgraff, netting his 15th all-time PHL Goal to confirm the Dragons will be there for the final games next weekend.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 27 July Results
10:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters 3-2 Namaqualand Daisies
12:00 – (M) – Mapungubwe Mambas 3-2 Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (W) – St. Lucia Lakers 1-2 Madikwe Rangers
16:00 – (M) – Addo Elephants 6-3 Maropeng Cavemen
18:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators 6-0 Drakensberg Dragons
CTM Premier Hockey League – 28 July Fixtures
08:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters vs. St. Lucia Lakers
10:00 – (W) – Madikwe Rangers vs. Wineland Wings
12:00 – (M) – Addo Elephants vs. Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (M) – Mapungubwe Mambas vs. Drakensberg Dragons
16:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters vs. Namaqualand Daisies
Images - Marcel Sigg
The South African Hockey Association has announced that Haydn Townsend has been appointed as the Marketing and Sponsorship Exco Member with immediate effect. Townsend succeeds Luntu Ntloko who has resigned from the position to focus on a new chapter of her career.
Haydn Townsend is the current Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman Thompson SA with over 25 years of experience in multi-faceted marketing skills including brand management, digital, social and sponsorship.
Some of the work that Haydn has been involved in that you may have seen over the years includes the SASOL sponsorship of the Springboks, the Vodacom Rugby as well as work with Investec Private Banking.
Haydn Townsend has played hockey at the highest level, playing for SA Schools and making the SACOS XI during the pre-unification era. Hockey has always been in his blood and he hails from a hockey family of 4 boys who were all firm fixtures at both provincial and national level. Post-unification he continued to play at provincial level and was part of the first unified SA national camps. He is still actively involved playing both League and Masters.
“Hockey has always been a part of my life and I am honoured to be able to give back to the sport that has given me so much, especially at a time where the brand needs serious reinvention. Globally, the product has become a huge spectator sport and has unlocked the entertainment value for the fans. We need to raise our game on this front”, says Townsend.
The South African Hockey Association would like to thank Luntu for the contribution she made in the short time she was with the board. We wish her well in her future endeavours. The SA Hockey Association wish further to offer our support and well wishes to Haydn as he embarks on this new element of his career.
The Wineland Wings continued their flight to glory, while the Dragons and Gazelles served up an all-time CTM Premier Hockey League classic. The Namaqualand Daisies earned a shock victory while the Maropeng Cavemen blew a bonus point opportunity. The Blyde River Bunters also saw their tournament hopes all but disappear after three consecutive defeats.
The final day of the opening weekend began with the untelevised game between the SA U21 side playing under the guise of the Golden Gate Gladiators taking on the Garden Route Gazelles. Unfortunately for the youngsters it was another defeat that left them on the verge of elimination from the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League.
It was an incredible whirlwind start to the game after frost had caused a delay to the proceedings. The action didn’t take as long as the pitch to warm up and within five minutes we had four goals. The Gazelles first struck through Hans Neethling before Sihle Ngubane doubled the lead with a fine deflection from a Jonty Robinson pass. Before we had time to blink it was 2-1, Sam Mvimbi who recently earned his first cap for South Africa, pulled one back for the Gladiators.
Lance Louw got his first for the Gazelles in the fifth minute from a variation penalty corner to make it 3-1 and a superb flick from Connor Beauchamp made it 4-1 by the end of the first quarter. The remaining three quarters saw the Gazelles solidify the bonus point with goals in each period through Berne Burger, Marvin Simons and Connor Beauchamp with the final goal. 7-1 the final score.
The Mapungubwe Mambas sealed top spot in the weekend with their own bonus point victory over the Addo Elephants despite trailing to an early Chad Futcher deflection. The Mambas then produced a near perfect performance from there on out and pulled level through Wade Dollman finishing off after a wonderful Tevin Kok delivery. It got better before half time as Matt Brown pulled off a trademark finish into the top right corner.
Mustapha Cassiem showed his opportunistic ability to make it 3-1 with a good tomahawk finish. The best was yet to come as the sensational trio of Kok, Dollman and Cassiem combined for arguably the best team goal of the tournament. A quick-thinking Mambas move fell to Cassiem who presented with the opportunity squared it for a diving Dollman to put it into the empty net. It was the men’s 300th Premier Hockey League goal. They added another milestone right at the end when Kok deflected home the 50th goal of the current year’s competition to send the Mambas to the top.
Over the past couple of days, the opening quarter had been a tentative one as the teams tried to get into the swing of the action. Today that was not the case and the Orange River Rafters, and the St. Lucia Lakers came out swinging. Sulette Damons gave the Rafters an early lead after being given acres of space after a penalty corner, before a determined run by Erin Hunter led to Refilwe Ralikontsane levelling from a Lilian du Plessis shot. Zimkitha Weston then made it 2-1 to the 2017 Champions bundling home a variation PC. The Rafters then had a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 but Simone Gouws wasted the one-on-one opportunity.
The Lakers showed their class in the third quarter as they turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Quanita Bobbs showed incredible reactionary skills to deflect a rebound back over Greyvenstein and Lilian du Plessis made it 3-2 with a spectacular solo goal and finish from the most acute of angles.
Sulette Damons however had other ideas and ensured the game would go to a shootout to decide the destination of the three points with a replica of the game’s opening goal. After the high of pulling level the Rafters will be disappointed that they were unable to convert any of their shootout efforts and ultimately had to only accept 1 point on the log.
The Namaqualand Daisies next took on the Wineland Wings with both teams on a high from their victories on the previous day. The Wings had an early opportunity after a sensational run by Jess Lardant, but a superb goal line clearance denied a tap in for the table toppers.
The Daisies then produced their best chance of the half with Bianca Woods denied by Magazwa. Sylvia van Jaarsveldt broke the deadlock with a sensational strike. It was van Jaarsveldts 10th PHL goal in history. The Wings looked more and more like they were going to extend their lead, but Stephanie Botha went off her feet and took Segoale out leading to a penalty stroke. Sare Loubscher just about finished it although Magazwa got the glove to it. The game would go to a shootout. The Wings, having shaken their curse scored all four of their shootouts with Jess Lardant finishing the last one to seal a full house of points from the opening four days.
The Maropeng Cavemen and Drakensberg Dragons are the only two teams to have lifted the PHL trophy and they met in the opening weekends final game. The Dragons were on an 8-game winning streak extending back to the opening game of the 2018 competition and were the strong favourites.
In a dominating opening half the Dragons will be disappointed with only leading 1-0 through Chad Caincross with a penalty corner. Lots of chances were wasted to the frustration of Sihle Ntuli. The Cavemen managed to restore parity through Dayaan Cassiem, who along with Brynn Cleak was growing in influence in the game for the Cavemen. But the supremacy of the Dragons was re-established when Ignatius Malgraff, the all-time top goalscorer in PHL, scored his first for the Dragons after a Courtney Halle slip was brutally punished.
But despite the statistics going against them, the chances stacked against them and the weight of pressure against them, the Cavemen emerged victorious. The duo of Cleak and Cassiem were causing serious issues and a bad stick tackle by Swanepoel led to a Cavemen stroke which Keegan Hezlett finished giving no chance to Gowan Jones.
With the Dragons trying to pour forward Cleak won a penalty corner for the Cavemen and the Courtney Halle finished with the type of goal that will remind the SA Hockey loving public why he was so highly regarded with the SA U21 side.
The opening weekend has come to and end with nearly 100 goals scored. Teams will be back next Saturday and Sunday as the group stages wind up and the final four are decided. For now, though it will be the Wings and the Mambas who are in celebratory mood.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 21 July Results
08:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators 1-7 Garden Route Gazelles
10:00 – (M) – Mapungubwe Mambas 5-1 Addo Elephants
12:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters (0) 3-3 (2) St. Lucia Lakers
14:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies (2) 1-1 (4) Wineland Wings
16:00 – (M) – Drakensberg Dragons 2-3 Maropeng Cavemen
Image credit Marcel Sigg
The Wineland Wings continued their flight to glory, while the Dragons and Gazelles served up an all-time CTM Premier Hockey League classic. The Namaqualand Daisies earned a shock victory while the Maropeng Cavemen blew a bonus point opportunity. The Blyde River Bunters also saw their tournament hopes all but disappear after three consecutive defeats.
The day started with the Blyde River Bunters desperately looking to earn their way back into the tournament after two defeats in a row. They also wanted to produce a better performance than the game yesterday as they opened things up against the Orange River Rafters.
It took only four minutes for the Rafters to open the scoring when Dirkie Chamberlain effected a turnover in the middle of the park, drove into the Bunters circle and squared for Simone Gouws who finished on the dive. Chamberlain again set up a massive opportunity, but the ball somehow evaded the dive of Ongi Mali.
With 6 minutes left Marcelle Keet pulled off the Bunters keeper and captain Phumelela Mbande. The moved appeared to pay dividends as Celia Evans finished after a cross from Cloe de Souza in the final minute of the game, however on the umpire’s referral the cross was ruled to have been dangerous. It was heart breaking for the Bunters who’s hopes of defending the title are hanging on by a thread.
If that was not enough drama for you, the second game of the day took the drama up to Greys Anatomy levels. Ryan Crowe reacted first after a shot had struck the post and his tomahawk finish found its way into the bottom corner establishing a 1-0 lead for the defending champions. That lead lasted until the 44th minute when Brandon James fired in a low penalty corner to make it 1-1 for the Garden Route Gazelles.
The game ratcheted up a gear, however, in the final quarter as a stunning six goals were scored in the 15-minute period. Jethro Eustice was given a yellow card and Connor Beauchamp immediately made the Gazelles numerical advantage count. It wasn’t to count for long as Bili Ntuli showed remarkable speed in thought and in play to punish a Gazelles error and level the game 2-2. With six minutes remaining the Gazelles took the lead again though as Brandon James attempt was blocked but a diving Berne Burger finished the rebound off with style.
Again, to the despair of coach Ashlin Freddy, the Gazelles were not able to hold onto the lead and Pierre Botma pulled it level again. A brilliant run by South African International Dan Sibbald created space though and for the third time in the game the Gazelles led. This time Hans Neethling diverting the ball home to the dismay of keeper Gowan Jones.
But the biggest drama would save itself for the last seconds of the game. The Dragons found Miguel da Graca and the man who has played in every PHL final made it count. The ball crossed the line with exactly 2 seconds left on the goal to send the game to a shootout which was easily won by the Dragons. This was undoubtedly the game of the tournament so far.
As the temperature in Johannesburg continued to drop, the teams did not seem to receive the memo and the Namaqualand Daisies were looking to get their first win of the 2019 campaign. The first half was defined by two moments. The first was the goal by Ashley Thomas, finishing from less than a metre and the second was a superb save by Mishka Ellis to deny Kristen Paton.
Ellis was at it again in the second half with a wonderful save to deny Nomnikelo Veto. When Ellis was finally beaten by Hildah Dukudu, she was fortunate that the shot was off target. Ashleigh Thomas then capitalised with a real poacher’s effort.
As the Daisies would have started dreaming of the victory they were stunned as first Ashleigh Datnow and then Toni Marks scored to pull the scores level. Kristen Paton, a former Daisies captain, weaved a sensational run to set up Toni Marks goal.
But once again the drama was saved until the final minute as the Daisies wonder girl striker Bianca Wood weaved her own net of magic and rounded the keeper to finish into an empty goal sensationally. What a game of hockey!
With the goals already flying in today they continued in the next game as the Maropeng Cavemen romped first but then stuttered their way to a massive 5-3 win over the Golden Gate Gladiators. Early work from Dayaan Cassiem set up Mark Chong but he was denied by a good save. Keegan Hezlett did make it 1-0 from a penalty stroke after Clinton Panther had produced a trademark run but was professionally fouled. 1-0 it remained at the half time break.
The Gladiators pulled level early in the second half firing past Rassie Pieterse through Idris Abdulla, but parity was not kept for long. The penalty corner was put away superbly again by Craig Wiid and very quickly after that it was 3—1 thanks to a cool finish by Cameron Mackay. The best was yet to come as Gerald Mpopo blasted a goal into the top right corner that was still rising as it hit the back of the net. Dayaan Cassiem then set it up for Hezlett who scored his second and made it 5-1. The Cavemen were happy to be in a winning position with their hands on a bonus point.
But the Gladiators played the party poopers as they netted through Angelo Walstroom and then a very late one by Tumi Ramphele to deny the Cavemen the much-wanted bonus point. 5-3 the final score.
The last game of the day was played at the same time as the Springboks were playing Australia, but that did not stop the supporters or players from producing an entertaining end to the day. The St. Lucia Lakers and the Wineland Wings were both undefeated ahead of this game. Lisa Hawker had the first big chance of the game for the Lakers, but they found themselves trailing when Jade Mayne supplied goal machine Sylvia van Jaarsveldt for the deft finish.
They made it 2-0 in the second quarter for the when Dunell van Taak won the turnover, moved it on to Stephanie Botha who produced a pass as good as any goal to find Tarryn Glasby wide open. Glasby waited perfectly before finishing for the Wings.
The Lakers fought back and were rewarded with a third quarter goal by Lilian du Plessis from the penalty corner. With 2 minutes remaining they won another penalty corner and Tegan Fourie fired away a fantastic shot, but it was well saved by Sisanda Magazwa in goals for the Lakers. 2-1 the final score and the Wineland Wings are virtually assured of a place in the final four.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 20 July Results
10:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters 1-0 Blyde River Bunters
12:00 – (M) – Drakensberg Dragons *4-4 Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies 3-2 Madikwe Rangers
16:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators 3-5 Maropeng Cavemen
18:00 – (W) – St. Lucia Lakers 1-2 Wineland Wings
CTM Premier Hockey League – 21 July Fixtures
08:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators vs. Garden Route Gazelles
10:00 – (M) – Mapungubwe Mambas vs. Addo Elephants
12:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters vs. St. Lucia Lakers
14:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies vs. Wineland Wings
16:00 – (M) – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Maropeng Cavemen
All original images by Marcel Sigg
The second day of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League saw plenty of action as the Wings and Mambas top the Mens and Womens tournaments respectively. The 2019 defending champions the Blyde River Bunters suffered their second successive defeat while the Addo Elephants marched back into contention. But first the day began with the St. Lucia Lakers and Namaqualand Daisies playing their first game of the 2019 tournament.
It was record breaking start to the second day of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League when the St. Lucia Lakers and the Namaqualand Daisies started their campaigns. The record they beat was one they held together, being the most goals in a game. The 8 scored today beats the seven they shared in their first meeting in 2016.
The Daisies will be disappointed to have ended the contest with a defeat after leading 2-0 and 3-2 in the game. Sare Laubscher and Thati Segoale started the game almost unbelievably for the Daisies with goals in the 6th and 7th minutes. A frenetic second quarter saw the Lakers peg back twice through Steph Baxter and Lilian du Plessis but trailing again to Jean-Leigh du Toit. If the Daisies were hoping to get to the break even, they were disappointed as Polly Mashau levelled again.
After six goals in the first half there was the inevitable third quarter stillness before the Lakers landed the killer blow in the final quarter netting through the sensational Tegan Fourie and securing the victory with a late Megan Anderson strike to secure a place in the record book and a winning start under the tutelage of Tarrin Ramsden.
In an act that we have seen before by Cheslyn Gie’s side the Addo Elephants, the 2018 runners-up bounced back from an opening day defeat to surge to a bonus point 5-0 victory over the Golden Gate Gladiators.
Reza Rosenberg opened the scoring for the Elephants with the only goal in the first half with a tap in from one metre after great work from good friend Julian Hykes. The first half would hardly have prepared you for the carnage that was about to come as the second half and the final quarter saw the Elephants ramp home their advantage over the deflated Gladiators. Cerezo Comersamy got the second and third with two well taken finishes before Sinoxolo Mbekeni got his second of the tournament after Kyle Coker had made three superb saves but a deflection beat him almost unfairly!
There was no lack of fortune with the Elephants fifth and final goal. Elephants and South African legend Julian Hykes re-joined Richard Pautz as the all time second highest goal scorer in CTM Premier Hockey League history when he finished into an empty net. 5-0 the final score.
Having been gifted two goal laden matches so far, the expectation for more just kept rising and although there was not as many goals the Orange River Rafters still entertained as they overcame their opening day disappointment with a 2-1 win over the Madikwe Rangers.
After hitting the post through Lisa Deetlefs, the Rangers had to watch the Rafter go 2-0 up through Sulette Damons and an absolute Dirkie Chamberlain thunderbolt. Sulette Damons goal itself was an experienced finished after a world class through ball from Charne Maddocks. The Rafters started pushing forward looking for a third and the bonus point that comes with that. Instead they ended up trying to preserve the victory when Kristen Paton pulled a goal back with a wonderfully worked penalty corner variation. The South African international was having an impactful game and the goal was just rewards for her performance. Unfortunately for the Rangers it was not enough, and they had to settle for their first defeat of the 2019 Campaign.
The Cavemen and Mambas were looking to steal a march on top spot as they met in the fourth game of the day. But only one team was going to end the day with their hands on the number one position. That team is the Mambas.
In a battle of the Cassiem brothers, the younger Mustapha got the laugh as his strike deflected off the stick of Kyle Lion-Cachet and looped over Duncan Fischer to make it 1-0. Greg Last then missed a stroke for the Mambas who were the better team on the day. Their second goal though was somewhat fortuitous as Tevin Kok poured forward. He looked to cross the ball for Luthando Jones but a mis-hit off the edge saw the ball diver through Fischer’s legs and into the Cavemen goal.
The Cavemen pulled off Fischer for the final four minutes and the decision paid benefit as Craig Wiid pulled a goal back with a blistering drag flick penalty corner. It gave Owen Mvimbi no chance on the line. Although both sides tried to get the games final goal, neither was able to and the Mambas secured the victory and top spot at this early stage of the 2019 tournament.
The final game of the day saw the 2019 champions the Blyde River Bunters look to bounce back from their opening day defeat as they took on the Wineland Wings. The Bunters though were left with more questions and no points after a Jessica Lardant inspired Wings performance gave them a second defeat.
The Wings opened the scoring through Sylvia van Jaarsveldt, her 8th career Premier Hockey League goal. They created shot after shot and were as dominant as they have been in a PHL matchup. The match was settled for the Wings when a brilliant press effected the turnover and found Tarryn Glasby open in the D. The South African international rode the challenge of Mbande in the Bunters goal before finishing coolly. The win moved the Wings to the top of the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey league table.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 19 July Results
08:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies 3-5 St. Lucia Lakers
10:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators 0-5 Addo Elephants
12:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters 2-1 Madikwe Rangers
14:00 – (M) – Maropeng Cavemen 1-2 Mapungubwe Mambas
16:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters 0-2 Wineland Wings
CTM Premier Hockey League – 20 July Fixtures
10:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters vs. Blyde River Bunters
12:00 – (M) – Drakensberg Dragons vs. Garden Route Gazelles
14:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies vs. Madikwe Rangers
16:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators vs. Maropeng Cavemen
18:00 – (W) – St. Lucia Lakers vs. Wineland Wings
Images by Marcel Sigg
The opening day of the 2019 and fourth edition of the CTM Premier Hockey League saw the defending champions the Drakensberg Dragons Roar, the Maropeng Cavemen spark, the Mapungubwe Mambas sizzle, the Madikwe Rangers hunt, and the Wineland Wings break a four-season curse. The 2019 Premier Hockey League is back and we re delighted.
There is often a sense of trepidation in the opening fixture of a tournament and many may have expected something similar in the first fixture of this year’s tournament between the Golden Gate Gladiators and the Mapungubwe Mambas. Many would have been wrong. Neville Rothman’s charges came out with fire in their bellies but had to wait until the 23rd minute before Tumi Ramphele opened the scoring. Jacque van Tonder pressured the Mambas defence, effected a turn over and crossed for Ramphele to slide in a superb finish.
Things got better for the Gladiators as on the stroke of half-time as Sam Mvimbi converted a penalty stroke for the youngsters. The Mambas, who have won their last two encounters against the Gladiators pulled one back through their own stroke by Greg Last setting up a tense finish. They pulled level on the whistle of the third chukka when Luthando Jonas turned home a goal bound effort by Owen Mvimbi. Although the Mambas tested Taine Bird in goals for the Gladiators regularly, they could not break through and the opening game would be decided by a shootout.
Luthando Jonas, Mustahpa Cassiem and Ross Goncalves all finished for the Mambas as they claimed the opening victory of the 2019 tournament.
The women’s tournament started with a tighter affair as 2017 winners the Orange River Rafters took on the Wineland Wings. The two teams had met three times previously and in all three encounters both teams got on the scoresheet. They would continue that tradition, but to the delight of Ryan Pillay and the Wineland Wings another tradition would disappear!
The Wings were looking fantastic creating a host of opportunities with Jade Mayne central to everything right that the Wings were doing. Jessica Lardant was also a prominent figure while the Orange River Rafters were looking to soak up pressure and launch counters through retired former national skipper Sulette Damons. Stephanie Botha opened the scoring with a fine tomahawk strike for the Wings before Damons showed a moment of quick thinking to fire home the equaliser. The result meant we had our second shootout of the day, something the Wineland Wings would not have wanted. In the three previous season they had competed in nine shootouts winning zero.
It looked like that may continue after early shootout goals for Ongi Mali and Donna Small, but the wings surged back with Robyn Johnson, Tarryn Glasby and Cailynn den Bakker. Stephanie Botha then came forth and confirmed the victory with a coolness that would make Chuck Norris proud and to end the longest streak in Premier Hockey League history.
The Maropeng Cavemen and Garden Route Gazelles played off for the fifth time with the three previous encounters ending in draws. The game came to life in the third quarter after a dour first half. Cameron Mackay showed his poacher like ability in the 34th minute to net his sixth career PHL goal. The Cavemen were then pegged back by nationally capped Dan Sibbald who turned home after great work from the wing. Parity had barely been restored when Spencer Botes fired home a bullet finish to regain the lead for Cavemen who hung on to remain unbeaten in normal time against the Gazelles over four seasons.
The young Cavemen will be chuffed with that opening day victory and impressed with the performance of Duncan Fischer in for Rassie Pieterse, while Mark Chong was superb for the two-time winners.
The women’s final game of the day was a repeat of the 2019 and 2017 finals with Madikwe Rangers and Blyde River Bunters locking horns. The score has ended 1-0 to the Bunters in the three most recent meetings between the two teams, with the Bunters holding a 4-1-0 Head-to-Head advantage ahead of the game.
With the game being limited to many half-chances throughout it felt like another game where the odd goal would decide it. And that’s exactly what happened. With three minutes remaining the Rangers won the penalty corner and Antoinette Louw fired a drag flick past Phumelela Mbande with a venom that gave Pietie Coetzee flashbacks. Sandile Bosman, making his debut as a coach, was delighted with the victory as the team held on for the points.
The final match of the day was a repeat of the 2018 final with the Drakensberg Dragons taking on the Addo Elephants, two-time silver medallists. The Dragons were looking to make a statement to join the Cavemen as teams to defend the trophy and they did just that with a goal in each quarter on their way to a bonus point win.
They opened the scoring when man of the match Richard Pautz finished from some good work from Bili Ntuli. The goal by Pautz moved him into a tie for second in the all-time Premier Hockey League goal scorers alongside Julian Hykes and Ricky West. He then moved into second outright alone when he brilliantly deflected from a Jethro Eustice penalty corner to make it 2-0. Pierre Botma made it three after a brilliant feint one way and squaring the ball by Amkelwa Letuka. Botma fired in his second on the night a few minutes into the fourth quarter at a time when three players were off the field with yellow cards.
Cheslyn Gie’s Elephants managed to pull a goal back through sheer will and strength from Sinoxolo Mbekeni. Unfortunately, it was only a consolation goal and its back to the drawing board for the Addo Elephants.
CTM Premier Hockey League – 18 July Results
(M) – Golden Gate Gladiators (1) 2-2* (3) Mapungubwe Mambas
(W) – Orange River Rafters (3) 1-1* (4) Wineland Wings
(M) – Maropeng Cavemen 2-1 Garden Route Gazelles
(W) – Blyde River Bunters 0-1 Madikwe Rangers
(M) – Addo Elephants 1-4 Drakensberg Dragons
CTM Premier Hockey League – 19 July Fixtures
08:00 – (W) – Namaqualand Daisies vs. St. Lucia Lakers
10:00 – (M) – Golden Gate Gladiators vs. Addo Elephants
12:00 – (W) – Orange River Rafters vs. Madikwe Rangers
14:00 – (M) – Maropeng Cavemen vs. Mapungubwe Mambas
16:00 – (W) – Blyde River Bunters vs. Wineland Wings
The South African Hockey Association are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Tac Pulse as a sponsor for the CTM Premier Hockey League and the African Road to Tokyo Event in Stellenbosch.
As part of the sponsorship Tac Pulse will provide paramedical support to both events ensuring rapid medical intervention in the event of an injury to any of the players. Going a step further Tac Pulse have also agreed to have an ambulance available as well as a gazebo set up in case any members of the public require support.
With player and fan safety of optimum importance, the South African Hockey Association are delighted to have Tac Pulse Emergency Response Services on board. SA Hockey Association head of events, Josie Milella expressed her delight:
“We are delighted to welcome Tac Pulse on board. The safety of our players, coaches, officials and fans is of paramount importance and Tac Pulse Emergency Services bring a level of quality that allows us to rest easy. Now that they are protecting the bodies, we can focus on the hockey!”
For more information on Tac Pulse and their services offered, check out their website at https://www.tac-pulse.co.za/home/